If you’re a music fan and you need a shot of goodwill and positivity, Light of Day is your festival. Light of Day was created 20 years ago when music industry veteran Bob Benjamin at his 40th birthday revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In the true form on that November night, New Jersey musicians and others in the industry along with those in the local New Jersey community stepped up. The Light of Day organizers which are led by music promoter Tony Pallagrosi and musician Joe D’Urso worked hard and added ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) and PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) to also receive the benefits of the efforts made by musicians along with assistance from the New Jersey music community.

Asbury Park Fun House (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)
Asbury Park Fun House (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)
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As of this writing Light of Day has raised close to $6,000,000, an incredible amount of money. The Light of Day festival is held where music lives, Asbury Park, New Jersey. I can think of any other fitting place. The great thing about going to one of these Light of Day events is that not only will you be very entertained, but you’ll also be helping the cause with your purchase of tickets and merchandise.

As we all were affected by the pandemic last year, Light of Day events in 2021 were all virtual and understandably the donations were down considerably. This year in 2022 the Light of Day people have added more events and the experience will leave you feeling fulfilled and a realization of how much we all missed great live music.

Many events are going on at Light of Day, the following events are my favorites. Please go out and support Light of Day, you’ll be very glad that you did, and please support local live music For a full list of events and information on how you can help the cause go to lightofday.org. As always thank you for your support.

Here is my favorite Light of Day events that I recommend:

 

the Weeklings
the Weeklings
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March 10, 2022
House of Independents
Doors at 7:00p show at 7:30p

WILLIAMS HONOR “EX” ALBUM PRE-RELEASE PARTY WITH SPECIAL GUESTS THE WEEKLINGS, BIG HIX AND DAUGHTER VISION

Williams Honor is comprised of two very talented and wonderful people Gordon Brown and Reagan Richards. I’ve enjoyed their music and company at many local events and shows including my Variety Show. Their music has climbed the country charts and Nashville has welcomed them both with open arms. Gordan’s talent and Reagan’s voice will make this a must-see event. If you add the Weeklings to the mix you have a great show. The Weeklings original music will take you back to Liverpool, England, they are terrific and I have had the honor of having them on my Variety Show and Glen Burtnik from the Weeklings has also been on my TV show. This is a great show that I highly recommend.

Via YouTube New Jersey 101.5 (screengrab)
Big Joe with Willie Nile Via YouTube New Jersey 101.5 (screengrab)
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March 11, 2022
The Stone Pony
Doors at 7:00p
Show at 7:20p

WILLIE NILE, JESSE MALIN, JOE GRUSHECKY AND THE HOUSEROCKERS, THE INDUCTION OF THE ASBURY ANGELS PLUS MORE LOCAL TALENT

This is a big show. A couple of years ago it was held at The Paramount in Asbury Park but since that venue is under repair they moved this to the Stone Pony. When you see the energy and hear the rock and roll from Willie Nile you’ll be exhausted. I love Willie Nile. He’s been a guest on my TV show and my radio show I’ve also seen him at many New Jersey events and shows. Willie gets the crowd electrified and you’ll leave this show thinking wow. Joe Grushecky and the House Rockers are just that, they rock the house. It’s rock and roll and when they take the stage you’ll be glad that they did. Other great local talented musicians are also on this show. It is a full night of music and one show that is not to be missed. Here’s a Big Joe suggestion if you have work the following day, call your boss now and get the day off.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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March 12, 2022
The Wonderbar
Doors at 12 noon
Show at 12:30pm

LIGHT OF DAY ASBURY BLUES

This is a great warm-up to the big main event that night. This event hosts many local musicians paying tribute to the blues. Many of the musicians are friends of mine and will entertain you on a great day filled with live local music. The Wonderbar is one of my favorite places to see a show, it’s an old-school venue that puts you close to the musician. Its worth the stop.

Bruce Springsteen jumps onstage in Freehold with Joe Grushecky & his band (Laura Outlaw via Youtube)
Bruce Springsteen jumps onstage in Freehold with Joe Grushecky & his band (Laura Outlaw via Youtube)
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March 12, 2022
The Count Basie Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre
Red Bank, New Jersey
Doors at 6:00p
Show at 6:30p

BOB’S BIRTHDAY BASH

This is the Light of Day main event. Pittsburgh’s own Joe Grushecky & his House Rockers will act as the house band for this huge concert. In the past, Bruce Springsteen has made a point to support the event several times and usually jumps in and blends nicely with Joe and his band. Other artists have included Gary US Bonds, Southside Johnny, Willie Nile, Lucinda Williams, Darlene Love and the list goes on and on. There is tremendous respect for music here in New Jersey and this show bleeds not only respect but a level of music that is rarely seen anywhere else. It’s a big show of rock and roll, I hope that you can take the time to join in the fun.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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